2011 Cadillac Escalade SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Cadillac Escalade SUV

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Cadillac Escalade Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 403 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Cadillac Escalade

  • It might not make as much practical sense as its rivals, but are you really interested in buying a 2011 Cadillac Escalade just for its third-row seat and cargo capacity?

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Unmatched visual presence; long list of standard features; gutsy V8; civilized road manners.

  • Cons

    Third-row seat lacks legroom and must be removed to maximize cargo space; lackluster braking performance; low fuel economy; high rate of theft.

  • What's New for 2011

    For 2011, the Cadillac Escalade's standard navigation system has been upgraded from DVD-based to SD-card-based, while the six-disc CD/DVD changer has been dropped in favor of a single-disc unit.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Stay away!

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac Escalade

Owned a 2007 Yukon loaded. Loaded with problems too. Serious electrical issues which scared us to drive it with children inside. We took it in about 4 times and finally traded in for the escalade awd. You would think that being the King literally! Of the Cadillac and the road, it should be built far better than the Tahoe/Yukon? Not ! The biggest pc of crap! I have ever owned! Within 8 months it was in the shop about 12 times for all sorts of problems. Worst was the engine cut off while driving on interstate. Super dangerous vehicle! Took it in and there must have been 5 escalades in shop for shadow problems of mine. Purchased a Volvo xc70 loaded and freaking love it!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Little legs

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac Escalade

You'll need little legs if you buy the huge Escalade. Actually had an agreement on an 07 ESV in late 2008 but dealer sold it out from under me. OK since by that time, I realized the tiny, non-adjustable rear seats were almost deal-breakers anyway. No, not the third row small, nonadjustable seats - the SECOND row. My $30k 06 Pilot had more rear legroom and it has seats that move fore and aft, unlike the $70k Escalade. Cool looking as the Escalade is, the QX56 is more usable and we're getting that. I'm surprised you mention Land Rover as an option: Land Rovers have the #1 disparity between perceived quality and actual quality - they're bad trucks but great for poseurs!




Cadillac escalade

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac Escalade

This is my first ever own a Cadillac. A ride a little bumpy, maybe with 20+ wheel, comparing with my Yukon trade in this one is awesome look and hi tech.




Escalade

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac Escalade

We had first looked at the 06 Escalade but didn't like it. We went with the Mercedes R350, but when it was time to change, the styling was a turnoff compared to the GL. So we went with the Gl450. It has a great third row, but the bench seat is a turnoff. So we decided it was time for a new luxury SUV, with captain chairs, leaving us to the Navigator, extremely bold, the QX56, in which the redesign didn't thrill us but was a near choice, or the Escalade. By far the styling is great and overall i am pleased with it. It has AWD, which I need, and is VERY difficult to get in Florida.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2010 escalade - "long in

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Vehicle: 2010 Cadillac Escalade

My 3rd Esc AWD - '03, '08, '10. Selling features on this one were Magnetic ride control, active fuel mgmt (4/8 cyl), front side airbags standard. RE the ride control - only thing I notice is slightly faster transmission of road variation. It' certainly a more "euro" feel, frankly out of place in such an SUV as this. Active fuel mgmt is a total joke - I got better mileage with my '08 (but, only 500 miles so far in this one). And guess what? No more rain sensing wipers and no more heated washer fluid (I'm from Wyoming - needed that hot washer fluid!). There's more, but the crowning blow came when transferring OnStar - you can't keep your old number!!



Full 2011 Cadillac Escalade Review

What's New for 2011

For 2011, the Cadillac Escalade's standard navigation system has been upgraded from DVD-based to SD-card-based, while the six-disc CD/DVD changer has been dropped in favor of a single-disc unit.

Introduction

There are luxury SUVs and then there's the 2011 Cadillac Escalade. There are full-size SUVs and then there's the Escalade. You could buy any number of big, luxurious vehicles instead, but there's just no true substitute for Cadillac's celebration of power, brashness and wheels in a package so large the Amish could stick one in a river to power a grain mill.

At its core, the Escalade is the ultimate realization of GM's full-size truck and SUV platform. A beefy 403-horsepower V8 is standard and provides excellent acceleration for a truck that weighs nearly 3 tons. An adjustable suspension that's standard on all but the base Escalade optimizes ride and handling. Most notably, the Escalade's interior is of higher quality and looks entirely different from what you'll find in a related Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon. Truly, the Escalade lives up to its Cadillac badge.

Even if you love the Escalade's distinct style, there are some factors to consider before you throw your money down. For one, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed the Escalade to be the most stolen SUV in America by a considerable margin -- an onboard Doberman might be a good idea. Also, the Escalade's third-row seat is less practical than that of other full-size luxury SUVs, since it both lacks legroom and must be removed in order to get a flat cargo area.

As a result, the 2011 Infiniti QX56, 2011 Land Rover LR4 and 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class are better suited for frequently carrying a full load of cargo or passengers, and they are also easier and more responsive to drive. Should you want a more driver-focused SUV, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne and 2011 Land Rover Range Rover Sport are both in the 2011 Cadillac Escalade's price range. Of course, a Land Rover LR4 with 22-inch rims just doesn't look right and a Mercedes GL doesn't have nearly the same in-your-face presence. Sometimes, the only vehicle that'll do is an Escalade.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV available in four trim levels: Base, Luxury, Premium and Platinum Edition. Seating for seven passengers is standard, but an optional center bench seat available on all but the Platinum Edition bumps it up to eight. There are also hybrid, extended length (ESV) and pickup-style models (EXT) addressed in separate model reviews.

The base Escalade comes standard with 18-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, automatic xenon headlights, foglights and running boards. Other standard amenities include tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-only steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, and heated and ventilated 10-way power front seats with adjustable lumbar and driver memory functions. Heated second-row captain's chairs, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, OnStar, a voice-operated navigation system with real-time traffic, and a 10-speaker Bose surround sound system with a CD/DVD player, satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface round out the lengthy standard features list.

The Escalade Luxury adds chromed 22-inch cast-aluminum wheels, automatic headlight high-beams, a blind-spot warning system, a suspension with an active damping system (optional on the base model), a sunroof, power-folding and tumbling second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.

The Escalade Premium adds power-retractable running boards and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a single roof-mounted display (optional on Luxury). The Escalade Platinum Edition adds different chromed 22-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, upgraded leather upholstery, leather-trimmed dash and door tops with contrast stitching, heated and cooled cupholders, and a headrest-mounted dual-screen DVD entertainment system.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 good for 403 hp and 417 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with a manual-shift feature is standard. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Escalade, but all-wheel drive is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive Escalade took just 7.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, a relatively impressive number for a vehicle this size. Properly equipped, two-wheel-drive versions can tow a healthy 8,300 pounds.

The Escalade features cylinder deactivation technology for improved fuel economy. Note that we said "improved" and not "good," as the big Escalade manages just 14 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive and 13/18/15 with all-wheel drive.

Safety

Standard safety features on the Escalade include stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and OnStar emergency telematics. A blind-spot warning system is standard on all but the base model.

In the government's new, more strenuous crash testing for 2011, the Escalade earned four stars out of a possible five, with five stars for overall frontal crash protection and four stars for overall side crash protection, but just three stars for rollover safety.

In Edmunds brake testing, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade came to a stop from 60 mph in a disappointing 144 feet. In government crash testing, the Escalade received a perfect five stars for frontal crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Escalade's cabin, highlighted by supple leather upholstery and attractive faux wood and alloy trim, looks and feels more luxurious than what you'd find in a Tahoe or Yukon. The gauges and controls are well-placed and intuitive in their operation, and an upgraded navigation system for 2011 gives the Escalade the latest electronics at GM's disposal.

In its standard seven-passenger configuration, the big Caddy features second-row captain's chairs and a three-person third-row bench seat. Adding the available second-row bench raises total seating capacity to eight. The 50/50-split third-row seat doesn't provide much legroom and doesn't fold neatly into the floor as in most other SUVs. Instead, owners looking to carry bulky items are forced to either fold and tumble the entire assembly forward -- eating up precious cargo space -- or remove the heavy seats entirely.

If you choose to lose the third-row seat, you'll end up with a cavernous 60.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second-row seats. Fold those second-row seats down and the cargo capacity grows to an impressive 108.9 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade delivers swift acceleration at all speeds thanks to its big 403-hp V8. Its handling inspires confidence, especially with the active Magnetic Ride Control suspension, though you'll never mistake the Escalade for anything other than a truck-based SUV. You will appreciate the ride quality, though, as it remains comfortable even with the larger 22-inch wheels. A relatively tight 39-foot turning circle helps with overall drivability, but maneuvering in tight quarters can be a hassle even with the aid of the standard rearview camera.

Talk About The 2011 Escalade

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs